Adorn Your Space for Mid-Winter
The season of mid-winter invites us to revel in the beauty of our snow covered surroundings, to feel into the cold and the stark landscapes we see. We can live into the mood of this beautiful season by focusing intention on creating surroundings that help us stay present in this moment.
You can bring these feelings to life in indoor spaces through:
Burning candles and incense
Fire plays an important role in traditional cultural festivals from this time of year, and it is a way to bring warmth and light into this often cold and dark season.
Indulge in some comfort and surround yourself with items that make you feel nourished, in what is often a difficult portion of the year.
Soft pillows and cozy blankets can make your space feel warmer and more welcoming, and invite you to pause and sink into quiet.
Decorating with items from nature
Branches from trees, evergreen boughs, and crystals are appropriate and bring the outdoor landscape in.
Deep cleaning and organizing
This is a wonderful time to clean out often neglected areas like cupboards and closets.
Create a feeling of spaciousness and lightness by reducing clutter.
Warming Candle Light Activities
Midwinter Garden Candle Blessing
Celebrate the waning of winter, the first stirrings of green and the warmth of lengthening days by warming your garden with candle light! In keeping with the tradition of making new from the old at this time year create a candle for your garden. This ritual symbolizes the power of the sun to invite the return of green and fertility to the land.
- Clear a spot in your garden and dig a small hole.
- Gather burned down candle stubs (preferably beeswax).
- Melt the wax by creating a double boiler by washing out a bean or tomato can and placing it into a pot of water or in a crock pot. Heat at fairly low temperature.
- While the wax is melting cut a piece of candle wick slightly longer than the depth of your garden hole and place in the hole.
- When the wax has melted pour the hot wax into the hole in the garden while keeping your wick upright. Let cool.
- Light your candle and celebrate that the time of darkness and fallow earth will soon end. Rekindle your resolutions, welcome the returning light and witness re-birth and new beginnings in nature all around us.
“Candle, candle, burning bright,
Winter’s halfway done tonight,
With a-glowing we are knowing,
Spring will come again.”
Candlemas Verse, Waldorf Book of Poetry
Create a Light Garden
During this cold, wintery time, we can all appreciate the opportunity to focus on the stillness of the snowy world, while we also tune in to the stirrings that begin to come with the anticipation of the coming spring. It is not yet time for planting seeds in our garden, but it is a time for planning the seeds we will plant.
Cultures around the world use this special time for mindful intention setting. Just as we begin to imagine the harvest we want in our gardens and the seeds we need to decide on now in order for the plants to materialize in the summer, now is the hour for considering what we want to bring forth in the coming year in other ways, as well--for visualizing and setting into motion ideas and dreams.
A beautiful way to live into this aspect of mid-winter is to create a light garden. This is a sweet activity to do with your family; even small children benefit from the connection and quiet intention this brings. There are many ways to do this activity, and it can be modified in any way that feels fitting for your personality, for the other people who are participating, and according to the items you have available. Adult supervision is necessary, of course, for lighting candles!
Choose a location where you will “plant” your garden of light and intention.
- If your location is outdoors, make sure your soil is loose enough to dig into--you may need to use a trowel or shovel to break up the cold ground!
Set the mood.
- This should be a quiet, mindful activity, so make sure you are in a space that will be conducive to this. Purpose to live into the moment fully. You may want to play peaceful music, or just listen to the sounds around you.
Write you intentions.
- Think through the visions you want to come to fruition throughout this year. What do you want more of in your life? This could be in the physical realm, such as new skills you want to learn or actions you want to accomplish, or it could be mental and emotional, such as cultivating more kindness, patience, or peacefulness.
- Use the strips of paper to document these hopes and plans in any way you choose--perhaps it is with a single word, an image, or whole sentences. You can make them as simple or as elaborate as feels right to you.
- You may want to just create one per person, or you may choose to have each person write several.
Plant your seeds!
- Roll your strips of paper up, then mindfully bury each of them in the soil.
- Mark each of the locations of your “seeds” with a candle.
- When all the intentions are buried in the soil, light the candles in silence, and watch the flames burn towards them, focusing on forward motion you are creating in your life by preparing for the growth you want to experience this year!
You will need:
- Soil (this can either be outdoors, in a garden bed or a bare spot in your yard, or can be dirt in a flower pot or other container indoors);
- Small strips of paper;
- Something to write with;
- Candles (any kind, even birthday candles can be used).
***Note: If you created your garden in potting soil indoors, it is fun to use the soil, with the paper in it, in your garden in the spring. Think about your intentions becoming a part of the soil as the paper disintegrates, and imagine the realization of them represented in the plants that grow out of them.
Roll Candles and Make a Healing Pine-Mint Salve
Dance and Sing
Mid-Winter is Calling
Mid-winter is calling
to find in me
a spark for igniting,
a stirring seed
A dream for the future
Through strength of will
to live in the moment
Through winter’s chill.
Root children sleep down under the ground
And while they sleep the world will turn around
And once again young robin will sing
The winters have gone
Wake up when it’s spring